Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mushroom Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons

Serves 2-4

Caesar Salad
1-2 heads romaine, green leaf, or similar lettuce
2 tbsp dried herbes de provence
1 tbsp tamari or raw soy sauce
¼ cup brazil nuts
1 small clove garlic, with center removed

Marinated Mushrooms and Peppers
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4-5 small white button mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp tamari or raw soy sauce
1 tbsp ground black pepper

Lemon Cashew Peppercorn Dressing
¼ cup raw cashews or other white nut or seed
1 tbsp black peppercorns, or to taste
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 small clove garlic, with center removed
1 thumbnail-size slice of fresh ginger
1 slice of fresh jalapeno
¼ cup filtered water
¼ cup olive oil, or to taste
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Rosemary Almond Croutons
½ cup almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed
¼ cup flax seeds, soaked for 2 hours
2 tbsp dressing, saved from previous recipe
1 small clove garlic, with center removed
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
2-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
1 large carrot, cut into bite-size chunks

Put all dressing ingredients except water into a food processor or blender. Pulse, then increase the speed while pausing occasionally to add water and push the ingredients down the side, until the mixture is creamy. Add the remaining water and any additional salt, pepper, or olive oil to taste.

Keep 2 tbsp of dressing in the blender, and place the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Add the crouton ingredients to the processor or blender and pulse until the almonds are very finely chopped but not creamy. Spread the croutons onto a dehydrator sheet in the shape of a log, about 1 inch high x 3 inches wide. Score the log crosswise every 1/2 inch and dehydrate until crisp, approximately 10-14 hours.

Once the croutons are ready, mix the marinated mushroom ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the brazil nuts, tamari, herbs, and garlic in the food processor and pulse until well mixed to a sandy texture.

Remove the ends of the lettuce, then chop crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Inspect and remove any brown or bruised pieces. Toss the lettuce generously with the dressing, and place in the salad bowl. Sprinkle the brazil nut mixture over top, and garnish with marinated mushrooms, almond croutons, freshly ground pepper and a dash of sea salt.

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